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Alitheia In Space III: Hard Light [IC][FT+][Open]

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Arktic
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Alitheia In Space III: Hard Light [IC][FT+][Open]

Postby Arktic » Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:57 pm

Alitheia In Space III: Many Worlds



For the first time in billions of years, the galaxy stands at the precipice of a new era. Intelligent life, once believed to be lost in this galaxy, make a reappearance, their infant arms reaching out to each other either to embrace or to strangle those close to them. New species -- the Vresh, Humans, Faeson, Xaa, the Tauceti, the Aelids, and others -- expand into the vastness of space, carried out into the star-studded sky amidst the roars of the great engines of their colony ships and of their people. It is a time of new life, of opportunity, of danger.

Experiences never before seen are beginning now to fill out the glowing arms of the galaxy. New species, new religions, new ideas, and new technologies are being held to starlight for the first time, interacting and thriving. Alliances are being formed as species tie a common fate to each other, in the hopes of mutual benefit and understanding. Wonders beyond compare -- planets made entirely of treasure, worlds filled to the brim with exotic and amazing lifeforms, civilizations refined and advanced beyond comprehension, awesome and useful interstellar storms, all of these greet the newborn travelers of this our star-island. The open galaxy promises to make one rich: whether that's in energy, knowledge, culture, faith, experiences, or conquests, that is up for the one enriching themselves to decide.

For the thinking mind, however, the night sky holds both the promise of glory, and the menace of total destruction. Ancient evils return from the dust, as new threats assert themselves in bold strikes. Mysterious weapons, fired many millennia ago from the north of the galaxy, menace the densely populated and politically contentious south. The ambitions and fears of new empires are being measured now, and the stakes -- the existence of your own kind of intelligent life -- couldn't be higher. After all, if you are conquered in this age of technological supremacy and total war, simple slavery is an
optimistic scenario for the fate of your people. Grey goo, psychic storms, and terrible cosmic ray beams all tear through the galaxy, each promising to snuff out all life in their own terrible ways. Those who wish to continue in this world must bear these on their own, or cement alliances of mind and matter to overcome them.

The moment of truth is arriving, as the noise of thought once again arises in Alitheia. In the desperate struggle of life against life, the race for galactic control has begun. How will you run it?

Welcome to the Galaxy. Welcome, to Alitheia.





Link to the OOC and applications: viewtopic.php?f=31&t=501598
Last edited by Arktic on Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Arktic
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Faeson Unity space, (223°, 0.24r), SE border with the SCA.

Postby Arktic » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:25 am

Onboard the colony ship RAINBOW NEST.

“Attention, all personnel. We will be stopping in this sector to recharge our drives. Our next jump will be underway in one hour. In the meantime, please resume all regular duties and or leisure. Thank you.”

The Faeson in the outer corridor sighed and groaned the familiar sighs and groans of uncomfortable interstellar travel, as they got up to put their temporary seats back into the starship walls stretch their many limbs. The protective shield of the outer window was lowered, and the passengers approached the wall to get a good view.
“Ugh,” bellyached a young Faeson man, upside-down as he was doing calisthenics to correct some seating-induced pain. “This is annoying. I can’t believe we have to extend our journey on behalf of some stinking humans...”

There was a murmur of resigned agreement among some of the Faeson. Due to an agreement Unity made with the Sovereign Colonies of Aurelia, the Faeson colony ship had to take on some cross-border traffic to Joint Community Hyperoot. The reasons behind it were myriad, complicated, and made sense on paper, but most Faeson didn’t care. They were eager to reach their new home, and found any delay obnoxious, let alone one that meant a transfer of non-Faeson to a planet already filled with non-Faeson.
“Oh Lasodo, my dear, relax,” admonished an older woman. “I’ve waited since before you were a twinkle in the eyes of some heated male to get to resettle like this. Another day or two hurts no one. Go cool your ears, would you?”
The Faeson around chuckled, and nodded. Indeed, things seemed to be going alright. Sure, there was a delay in the flight plan, but at least they were all there. Unity choosing you to be a colonist was an honor and a privilege: to breathe the fresh air of a new world, to be the first names spoken of and known on a Faeson planet. Sure, a two-day deferral was aggravating, but it hardly mattered in the long run.

“Look, Osasaa!” shouted a young girl, running excitedly up to the older woman to tap on the window with the palms of her four hands. “Ships and stars! So pretty!”
The RAINBOW NEST had stopped to recharge in a busy shipping lane: starships of all shapes and sizes glided past, or hovered in the void. They glittered in the eternal night, shimmering in all colors, illuminated by the flare of their engines and the various navigation, safety, docking, and interior lights.
Osasaa took the child in her lower arms, and smiled, looking outside with her. “It is pretty, Tisse. Stars and ships...”
A wave of calm and satisfaction fell over the people. Things weren’t just okay, they were good. They didn’t have to worry about the humans. The future would hold good things, for Lasido, for Tisse, even for old Osasaa.


Suddenly, a loud siren screeched and emergency lights began to flash all over the corridor. Frightened, Tisse put her hands over her ears and screamed. Before anyone could even ask what was happening or comfort the child, the shrill voice of the PA came back online, shouting in panic.

“DANGER, PROJECTILES INCOMING! BRACE, BRACE, BRACE!”

There was a terribly loud series of bangs and thuds as the hull cracked to a sustained barrage on the north side of the ship, harsher than any meteor shower, blotting out any thought or words with their force. The last thing anyone in that corridor saw was a huge hole punched through the metal-glass, and the frosted curve of the shockwave caused by the air leaving them faster than the speed of sound...




Deeper in the interior of the RAINBOW NEST, chaos reigned. All sorts of alarms and alerts screeched and beeped, lights were flashing and flickering as rolling power failures shivered through the ship. Screams and the smell of Faeson blood overpowered everything. In a dark interior chamber, a lone Faeson medic was working on something with the manic fury of terror. It was an injured human.
“Be fixed,” he hissed under his breath, behind the spacesuit helmet he threw on at the first alert. “Please be fixed...”

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Parcia
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Parcia » Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:21 pm

Ellenor Baker.

Light, flashing, lights. The smell of smoke, metallic tinged blood. Then Pain, a shape above her, a numbing feeling and her vision cleared. One of the aliens, the Faeson was over her. Her hearing was in an out and she felt the warm trickle of her own blood along her scalp, staining her flaxen hair a dark, strawberry red.

She groaned and slowly rolled on to her side, then all fours and finally to her feet shakily. The medic was wide eyed and shaking, speaking to her in rapid, chattering gibberish she figured was indeed English or Colonial basic, but her numbed, slow moving mind couldn’t make sense of it.

Leaning on the wall and fiddling with her PDA, she gently waved the four armed alien off and started to shakily make her way down the hall.
Last edited by Parcia on Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
So apparently Cobalt has named me a Cyber terrorist, I honestly don't know to be Honored or offended.
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The United Remnants of America
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The United Remnants of America » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:26 pm

Endless Space
Station Amptotho
Hathaw System
Antilles Sector
Inner Territories
Seran Federation


In the distance, the star of the Hathaw system glittered like a yellow-orange jewel against a backdrop of multicolored pinpricks, its light reflecting off the pale blue dot that was Zoria, the only habitable planet in the system, one of thirty-two such worlds spread over the twenty-five systems of the Seran Federation. The star, however, wasn't the foreground of the video feed, nor was the idyllic Zoria.

The system flotillas of the Antilles Sector had been gathered in their entirety for Inspection Week, and they were the focus of the video feed playing out in the command center of Amptotho Station. In total, over two-hundred ships from the Navy and several dozen from the Marines had arrived for their yearly inspection. Those that hadn't arrived were Marine ships on training rotations and a few Navy frigates on patrol duties. They were scheduled to come in at a later date. Aside from the yearly inspections and the rare military celebrations, it was a rare sight to see so many vessels accumulated in one system, let alone in such a small space surrounding the station.

Station Amptotho wasn't the only space station in the Federation, but it was one of a handful owned and operated directly by the Seran military as a dock, resupply, and congregation point. In general, there was only one such station in a sector, and Amptotho was the Antilles Sector's station. That meant that roughly once a year, based on the Seran Prime calendar, ships would gather to be swarmed over by a veritable army of engineers, technicians, inspectors, and administrators, looking through every seam and bulkhead, every warhead and every line of code on each ship, making sure that they were in efficient operating condition. Every sector made sure to offset their inspections so only a portion of the Navy was tied up in inspection at any given time in case of emergency fleet actions. Not like that mattered, the Federation hadn't fought an armed conflict in years, and had never been tested in anything that could be considered a fight for survival. This peace was earned, however. Insurrection, piracy, and terrorism was always a present threat... In theory. And so it was necessary to keep the Navy and Marines at their peak.

Karel thought it was a bunch of needless paperwork.

09-Karel was an Immortal, and nominally attached to Seran Cruiser SNS 067 Carnage out of Conaling Flotilla. It wasn't the most fun job an Immortal could get. He knew some, like 28-Raliyah and 19-Meletis go to do secret squirrel stuff, or even 07-Zihark was allowed to do first contact duties. But Karel was stuck here in the Inner Territories. His assignment was "readiness." On paper, you wouldn't even be able to decide what that meant. But Karel had been on this assignment for two years now, and he was excruciatingly familiar with the task. 09-Karel was a poster child.

Clad in his pearlescent ivory white personalized Immortal armor kit, Karel's job was to travel the Inner Territories, visit all the stations, ensure all the bolts and rivets were where they were supposed to be, ensure nobody was drinking on the job when he was there, and best of all, visit villages and towns so civvies could ogle and take pictures with him to boost recruitment. Press the flesh, show them what every Seran could be if they joined civil service.

A shame that was a lie.

Karel looked the part of a perfect Seran. Tan skin, hazel eyes, brown hair pulled into a high and tight braid. He was Josiah Everyman. The only difference was he wasn't human. Where most Serans stood around 180 centimeters, he was around 230 in height, built on a frame of cybernetics, genetic manipulation, and pure trained physique. Something truly unobtainable to almost everyone, out of reach for all but the Immortals, of which the ranks were closed. Fifty-one was the cap. The only generation of his kind. There would never be more, as they were the last and only of their kind. Sure, kid, you can be just like me, Karel thought, the only difference is we'll give you a blue jumpsuit if you join the Navy, or blue-grey armor in the Marines. Maybe you'll get lucky, be really good, and join Special Forces. Then you'll at least get some cool shit. But you'll never be like me. No matter what the recruiters tell you. Certainly, you'll never get white armor.

The white armor wasn't even his choice. Sure, Immortals got to have personalized equipment, but the white was a PR move by Command. "Purity and goodness" they called the symbology of the colors.

"Oh hey, the Bounty is up."

Karel looked back up to the viewscreen, glancing around the station's command room again. It was a multi-tiered room, banks of monitors for sensory technicians and communications specialists organizing the entire ballet of the inspection as well as the goings-on of the Sector. At the front of the room were massive banks of video screens where the external cameras were set to watch the comings and goings of the ships from the station's docks. Sure enough, the Cruiser Bounty was heading into a recently vacated docking station. Karel glanced to his right, at the source of the voice.

A figure clad in matte black armor stood, the only reflection coming from a freshly shaved head. Karel smiled in familiar greeting.

"Brother. I had no idea you'd be here as well."

15-Basilio grinned back. He shared many of the same physical features of Karel, except where Karel was powerfully built, Basilio was barrel-chested and 15 centimeters taller, a titan of a man, a titan of an Immortal. Like Karel, Basilio was assigned to a cruiser in name only and given "readiness" duties.

"Aye. Well met, brother. The Bounty was coming in, so I decided it was worth a break from our daunting line of work to see the ship was in top condition. And of course to ensure there was no slacking taking place here."

"And have you found the inspection staff wanting?"

"Only for action. It seems the only slacking I can find in the entire station is you, staring slack-jawed and glaze-eyed at the viewscreens."

Karel grinned and took the lighthearted insult to give back in kind, "Then surely you must be slipping, Bas. I've heard many a rumor of the Bounty's proclivity towards drink and sleep while you're off-decks."

Basilio raised an eyebrow in mock concern, going with the joke, "Is that so, brother? I suppose I will need to inform the captain to present a more stringent training protocol."

"You could instead just tell them xenos have invaded the Outer Territories and are on their way here now. That should rebalance their humours in good time."

Both Immortals chuckled at the audacity of the statement and settled into a comfortable silence as they watched the viewscreens together, observing the continuing inspections. The Federation was at peace. Xenos didn't invade here, especially not when they'd have to fight through the Aurelians first. Despite the theater of the inspections, the Federation was the safest it had ever been.

What could possibly threaten that peace?
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Anowa
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Founded: Jul 29, 2014
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Anowa » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:07 pm

The All Encompassing Expanse
KCSV Magellan
In orbit over New Tunis
Danube System
Core Sector
Kantr Confederacy

Moments away from FTL Jump to unexplored system

The bridge of the KCSV Magellan was an eerie calm, the entire ship was going through something that was notably routine. A simple procedure that dumped negative mass into an envelope around the craft, shunted it into a separate dimension, and shunted it back into their home dimension without lethally irradiating the whole solar system with gamma rays. It was something a child might need instruction for, but could still accomplish.

The only addition outside the routine was the presence of four Marshals on the ship. Typically, there would be one for a short period, as the mothership deployed it's various away teams and two escort cruisers, before the marshal would be picked up by another ship, returning back to their duties elsewhere. Though the Grand marshal had seen it needed to send four. It was odd, but well within understandable parameters, sometimes a system was simply had more strategic import than others.

It was about as routine as it could get, even as the color palette began shifting to negative and the stars started condensing.

Then, at the last moment, across a 47 kilometer long, 6 kilometer tall, and 12 kilometer wide ship, a 200 kilogram, 14cm around, 50 centimeter long, greatly warped and mangled mass accelerator round fired millenia ago, slammed into the one place in the hull that had been overlooked for repairs due to a lack of need or desire, plowed through a deck that was mostly unoccupied and barren cargo space, emptied for the samples to be recovered on the ship's mission, and finally struck a bulkhead that had one of five primary junctions for the craft's engineering bay, of which 2 others were undergoing maintenance.

In the instant the craft lurched across dimensions and back into their home dimension at their destination, the power draw resulted in the two other junctions promptly overloaded, one of them being slagged immediately and causing an electrical fire.

All of this happened in less than a second.

As the ship shuddered and emergency light came on as back up microfusion generators booted, the Marshal on the bridge simply stared impassively out the main viewscreen.

One Captain Theodore Strauss simply called out across the bridge, "Lowell. What the fuck was that?"

The Ensign shrugged, "Deck 129 has a hull breach, as does Cargo Bay 24. Engineering is reporting that all power junctions have failed. No one's actually hurt except an electrician who has a few superficial burns."

"How bad?"

"Wait one." a pause as the man received info on one of the 4 displays, "Engineering is doing checks now, may be a fe-"

A disembodied voice with what was once called a southern drawl called out across the deck, the ship's AI, Pioneer, "Junction 1 has overloaded and cannot handle the power strain, Junction 2 and 3, as you know, were undergoing maintenance. Junction 4 took a direct impact from a foreign object, and Junction 5 detonated from the strain of FTL, and is now causing an electrical fire. I have already deployed fire suppressants and alerted fire control teams."

The Captain hummed, "Well, that's a bad way to start the expedition."

The AI continued, "As you know, life support and other vital systems such as nutrient recycling, reactor management, and running lights are still powered. However everything else including most communications will be down until power can be restored to the main reactors."

"Alright, start sending out an SOS on the old HF radios. Fuck."

It was then the Marshal spoke, their armor made them all look the same, vaguely androgynous, as much as that meant to 8 foot tall pillars of muscle and heavy metal, but the voice that came from the helmet was a woman's, a soothing contralto that did nothing to betray the fact that the woman in the black armor would have no issue killing everyone on this ship without breaking a sweat, "That may not be wise, Captain."

The captain spoke, "May I ask why, Marshal?"

The post human warrior simply pointed, "The dark side of that ice world has lights indicating a permanent population."

"Oh."

Pioneer once again spoke up, "I am detecting several hundred craft of unknown classification of corvette size or greater converging into what appears to be some form of military formation." Silence reigned, "Captain, this is First Contact with an alien species."

The Captain locked up, "I... I... get."

The Marshal immediately overshadowed the man, "Communications, do we have a first contact package at the ready?"

Communication's supervising officer responded, "We have one but, it's a bit dated."

"How dated?"

The supervisor looked at a screen and responded, "80 Years. Still the same format, just a different arrangement."

"Audio files are arranged the same?"

The man nodded, "Yes Ma'am."

"Good. Play Track 73 and send the package on all comm bands."


All across the system, almost any sort of receiver capable of receiving any form of communication would start receiving messages in form of a looped audio, as well as a a series of unencrypted images.

These images, started as a mass of mathematical equations, anatomical charts, an alphabet of some kind that was nothing more than dots and dashes next to shapes that could be seen as letters.

What followed was much more revealing. Images of a species, startlingly human like doing things ranging from sports that had a degree of recognizance to them, to what looked like family gatherings, twins, hunters, and soldiers, all in positions of happiness and joy, enjoying the company of one another. All posing on a planet where all the plants were purple, where massive city scapes lines coastlines and rivers. The images of these people were followed by a single word, spoken by a voice, "Kantr". Next, came a planet covered in the previously seen purple foliage, "Crucible".

What followed was a singular image, of a dotted line starting in the rough center of the Orion Spur, moving across the milky way, forming a solid line midway and ending near the Galactic Core.

The next set of images were, less endearing. This time, it was humans, images of them in a state not unlike that of refugees, starving, disheveled, dying. Images followed of a massive ship, on it's side in the now ancient English, "Ark of Noah". In The background, a gas giant with a massive red spot, a hurricane that had likely lasted centuries. The next image was of a blue marble, floating in the void, a smog choked atmosphere, glittering sand particles indicating a number of orbital stations, a few ships were in frame. To a human, it was an unmistakable image, it was their ancestral homeland. It was Earth.

The images would begin to loop at that point. But to the Aurelians, the message was clear.
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An Intro to Anowa

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Arktic
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Founded: Nov 20, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Arktic » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:00 pm

Parcia wrote:Ellenor Baker.

Light, flashing, lights. The smell of smoke, metallic tinged blood. Then Pain, a shape above her, a numbing feeling and her vision cleared. One of the aliens, the Faeson was over her. Her hearing was in an out and she felt the warm trickle of her own blood along her scalp, staining her flaxen hair a dark, strawberry red.

She groaned and slowly rolled on to her side, then all fours and finally to her feet shakily. The medic was wide eyed and shaking, speaking to her in rapid, chattering gibberish she figured was indeed English or Colonial basic, but her numbed, slow moving mind couldn’t make sense of it.

Leaning on the wall and fiddling with her PDA, she gently waved the four armed alien off and started to shakily make her way down the hall.

[OOC: just assume either everyone knows each other’s languages or that advanced auto-translators/telepathy are being used unless otherwise stated.]

The medic slumped back against the wall. Ellenor could have noticed that one of his under-arms was missing, staining his suit bright orange, the hue of Faeson blood.
"Please be fixed please be fixed pleasebefixedpleasepleas..."
The noise of his murmuring slowed, then faded to incoherence behind his starsuit mask as he began to die.

The hall was mostly empty, being an interior maintenance corridor. On the far end, two Faeson in starsuits were dragging away a battered third from a large green chemical fire that belched black smoke and blocked the end of the hallway. She screamed and cried in pain, her blue skin scorched an ugly bark-like brown-black, leaf-like flames still licking at her clothing. One of them looked at Ellenor, then ran to a nearby cabinet and pulled out a human-designed oxygen apparatus. It was maybe a hundred years old at this point, but it still seemed to work, so it was better than nothing.
"Take! Quickly!"

The other set the burn victim against the wall, where she screamed and sobbed in concert with the blaring alarms. Everywhere in the darkness, orange and red warning lights were blinking, and a continuous strobe illuminated the hallway in a vertigo-inducing nightmare. As the Faeson that handed you the oxygen mask messed with a control panel to turn on a set of emergency floodlights, the other stared at the fire and began to visibly panic. Indeed, Ellenor could feel it: a psychic wave of panicked energy and despair ripped through the ship, throbbing like loud music behind closed doors.
"THE NURSERY!"
The lights came on, illuminating the hallway, and behind Ellenor the Faeson scaled the wall to remove a large firefighting apparatus. An explosion elsewhere on the ship shook everything, causing the Faeson to fall along with the equipment. The extinguisher engine seemed to be fine, but the Faeson who had scaled to get it clearly was not, judging from her loud groaning and the way her two left arms were unnaturally bent. Upon watching this, the male Faeson standing next to Ellenor began to hyperventilate and cry, clearly having what in human terms would be a panic attack.
"The nursery, the nursery..."

The Faeson woman tried to get up and haul the extinguisher closer, but was clearly in extreme pain. Behind them, down the hall, the fire raged. An alarm sounded, the tone and robotic voice audible from behind the roaring fire and wreckage, in the other room.
"ALERT, ALERT: HIGH TEMPERATURE DETECTED NEAR EGG CLUTCH. CORRECT TEMPERATURE IMMEDIATELY."
Last edited by Arktic on Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Arktic
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Founded: Nov 20, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Arktic » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:16 pm

SPECIAL EVENT: Iron Rain

Beginning with fits and starts at first, but slowly becoming more and more regular as time goes on, kinetic projectiles and nuclear warheads begin to hit numerous targets across the southern half of the galaxy, civilian and military alike. No ships are sighted and no declaration of war follows, and all the empires of the south are effected.

An investigation of the projectiles reveals an even deeper mystery: not only are their designs entirely foreign to all known cultures, but from materials dating and the pockmarks of interstellar dust, they appear to be many hundreds of thousands of years old. This rules out their use from an invading force or terrorist group: there is no way any force could have predicted where the shots would land, and even if they could, why would they open fire on something that wouldn't be there for hundreds of thousands of years in the future?

Further analysis of the projectiles' path allows a trajectory to be estimated: they originated from a semi-circular sliver of space in the far north-northwest of the galaxy, approximately from a firing line between coordinates (330° 0.8r) to (340° 0.7r). As the wreckage smolders from these unfortunate blows, the nations of the galactic south consider forming an interspecies investigation fleet to get to the bottom of these accidents, and to see if there is a way to prevent further harm from coming through this mysterious and ancient conflict...

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Kasa Tkoth Sphere
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Posts: 221
Founded: Apr 23, 2019
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Kasa Tkoth Sphere » Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:36 pm

Hicauran Closed Worlds
Planet: Lha-Leu
Zone 154, Upper Level, Monolith 11E


Lha-Leu's smallest continent was covered in a chocolate-bar-shaped grid of concrete frusta jutting up from the filled-in midcity below, each measuring ten or twenty kilometers across their flat tops and very nearly as tall. Each one of the arcologies-above-arcologies could have housed a billion people; normally, one would be lucky to find a hundred. Today, things were a little different. Visible from orbit atop one of these sliced pyramids was an orange-painted starship, shaped like a flattened harp and leaning on its side, currently being gutted for parts due to its excessive age and the high demand for components like plasma heaters and sailblade injectors. From hundreds of miles around, roaming groups, whether nomadic in origin or merely dispatched from static communities, flocked to the scene as the locals of Monolith 11E practiced their specialty in shipbreaking. And for their trade specialist, Never Once Stole, a black-cloaked Xaa who moved in a hurry and kept managing to lose those following her in the bustle amidst the low-lying buildings and the bare concrete, the next few months would be busy indeed.

Never Once Stole had her hearing augments off because, about once every minute or two, the grinding noise from the work zone behind her briefly shot up in volume when someone turned on a more heavy-duty power tool than usual, and with the devices active, her oversensitive ears would have rattled too much. So as the New East Road Community pulled up, disembarking from their house- and supply-bearing Orromund — it wasn't terribly clear to her why nomads like them didn't just live on the trains — she waved over their emissary, Cia'doi, and made the series of hand motions to indicate that she wanted to speak in the Xaa form of the sign language that just about everyone in this region knew.

Cia'doi was an old friend of hers: she had met the older Xaa on a trip to the underlevel a few thousand years ago, back before the Community had packed up and moved aboveground. She'd been very confused about them, from the bizarre culture they lived under (why wouldn't you name yourself after your greatest feat?) to their propensity for building robotic drain cleaners, but over a month's expedition through Lha-Leu's dark, empty residential zones, the two had grown close enough to recognize each other long after the fact. Time and again they'd met, in one odd place and then another, until they soon came to realize that their communities were forming a connection.

[I take it the journey was easy? You're here very early,] she signed.

Cia'doi gave a deep bow and unlaced their riding garment, letting it open up into a dress. [It has never been simpler. Your people are attracting a lot of attention.]

[As well they should — this doesn't happen often. You could call it a once-in-a-lifetime deal.] Never Once Stole wasn't wrong; a shipbreaking of this scale only happened once every few millennia, and with the fleet spread out across ten planets with countless urban layers, it would be a rare event to witness one in one's whole lifespan.

[You can try to sell me things after the provisions team gets here to tell me what they want,] replied Cia'doi playfully. [Such a silly matter, isn't it? Here we are, watching the cosmos churn above us, empires rising and falling faster than ever before, and it'll take us all of today just to get a good price on some old scrap.]

This was new. Since when did the New East Road Community keep an eye on the stars? She'd have to check the records again, but nothing was out of the ordinary anymore; some galactic growth spurt couldn't possibly merit any more attention than the thousands that had come before in Hicauran history. An old story came to mind, passed down from her great-times-ten grandmother — a metaphor for the fleeting patterns of the cosmos screaming into life before drowning themselves, while the eternal Closed Worlds looked on. Much as a Xaa would spend forty years vigorously maturing and four hundred thousand in relative peace, so the life of the universe was broken up by the newborns but overseen by generations upon generations of weary, disinterested adults.

[Don't compare yourself to the hungry infants,] she signed to them at last. Hopefully this would shut them up. One of the workmen, Saved Ten Lives, was coming up from the disassembling facility; he signaled to her from afar, indicating that his team had agreed on everything they were ready to part with.

[No, I'm serious. One would expect us to have a grand fleet, something to awe them all with. But we do not. We have so few things sailing, so few people dreaming of more. It's a momentous occasion when we retire one starship; surely out there people are digesting and churning out thousands a day.]

Never Once Stole rolled her eyes. [I think the noise is getting to you. Or did you spend a little too long browsing the fiction archives?]

It took Cia'doi a moment to compose themself. [I'm sorry,] they replied at last, looking down and adjusting their own mask — a sign of shame. [I don't know why thinking about starship parts turned into this.]

[Well, you came all this way to buy them. Must've had a lot of time to think. Let's get you a deal, shall we?]



Border of United Alliance

The Lost Lightseeker's captain, a grey-hued Tok Akove who stood on eight legs and was covered in dense, reed-like hair, was in the midst of preparing for the departure from FTL. The ship had followed a zigzagging path up into the Milky Way's northeastern quadrant, before finally making a hook west and bouncing from one system to the next over the past several years. Not many made the rounds like this retrofitted passenger vessel did; the Hicaurans rarely found it useful to prowl the universe all the time. But it was helpful to check up on the neighbors, nonetheless.

"There's nothing here, you know. We ran this route five ocean-cycles ago, and five more before that. Nothing worthy of mention, no one so much as passing by."

His first mate, an Orromund currently curled like a snake into a conical pile beside him, boomed a tranquil response. Neither could use the same sounds; the fact of life in the Closed Worlds was that everyone had to understand one another even if one person spoke in droning explosions of air and the other in chittering, bush-shaking noises.

"Yes, but at the very least we can get data on the flare star here. I recall it's been quieting down over the last few trips. We're supposed to drop in here, anyway."

"If whatever we see doesn't compare to the gamma signatures we picked up as we were departing — what the hell was that, anyway, something fusing the interplanetary dust? — then I don't want to hear you talking about it."

The crew eased the ship out of its transit and brought it around an astronomical unit away from the M-dwarf they had selected as a destination. The Lost Lightseeker — or at least this iteration of the ship with the name, as there had been hundreds — was a fairly typical model from Lha-Leu Zone 100's shipbuilders. Two kilometers bow to stern, it had a long front-facing "neck" capped in a thin frontal prow, and a widened, ellipsoidal "abdomen" of blank grey metal surrounded in a skeleton of orange-painted braces and crossbeams. Behind it trailed a flexible comet-tail-shaped membrane of what looked like translucent plastic, easily hundreds of kilometers long, but currently curling itself up to be stowed away on the spacecraft's rear.

Then the EM sensors lit up. This system had active communications; without a thorough pass and analysis, there was no hope of identifying the codecs that the locals used, but there was at least a place to start. If the natives were as advanced as the Closed Worlds, they might have also recognized the gravity-wave signature left behind in a particular spot in their system: the trademark crack of a topological sail doing its work bringing a vehicle out of FTL.

The captain took a moment to take in the feeds, streaming with inaccessible data, overwhelmed by a rush of noise clearly artificial in nature. Then he finally spoke into the Lost Lightseeker's comms.

"Is... is anyone here rated for a contact event?"

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Parcia
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Parcia » Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:52 pm

Argos System
Sovereign Colonies of Aurelia


This was it, this is what they were waiting for. The sudden FTL spike through Colonial space as something fucking massive sipped through known Colonial frontier space, the inner colonies, and finally in to the home system it self before tearing through real space and stopping on the edge of the system, a scant few hundred million miles from the Home of colonial Aerospace command and training, the ice world of Ball.

In minutes, really around 45 seconds, a system wide communications bottleneck was put in to place, Civilian air and void traffic was ordered to break for pre-arranged shelter points, Orbital defense batteries, either in. Geosynchronous orbit over the many worlds of Argos or in preset Lagrange points all went to combat stations, began dumping reserve power in to combat capacitors, and orienting to point the business ends of their mass drivers, missile bays, and Lance emitters at the contact.

The fleet lurched in to action around the minuet forty five mark. 4 patrol groups primarily of cruisers leading destroyers, broke from their patrol paths and, through a combination of micro jumps and combat speed, began to maneuver for flanking positioning around the unknown as it’s multi dozen kilometer form hung in the black.

The 8 big sticks of the fleet, of which 6 were in system, broke from their moorings, gathered their nearly 50 ship strong escort groups in the proceeding minutes, and initiated the only known instant of multiple FTL bridges occurring in the same system in Colonial history.

The Hephaestus class warstar was a venerable titan of stellar warfare, the ship type that lead the Calgar empire during their thousand year conquest of the Orion Spur. At 3.4 kilometers long, they looked as if they were but small escorts in the face of the Kantir vessel.

None the less, with their deployment saw the entire home fleet form up beside them as they bridged to just with in weapons range of the vessel. Inside of seconds of exiting FTL and taking up a staggered, combat formation the fleet launched its air group, thousands upon thousands of Apollo and Gladius fighter and strike craft lancing out to form an advanced fighter screen for the force.

On the other edge of the system, a sleek and slender space station would slowly orient it self towards the craft, a distinctly high level of Gamma ray radiation beginning to form at the tip of it’s spire.

The sides were set, the Combined forces of the Colonial Home fleet, nearly 340 warships, versus the singular, massive unknown ship in front of them.

And then the music began. Colonial channels are heavily encrypted, and since the alert was in effect, the only ones being used. But all it took was a single back channel open to civilian feeds for the message to quickly reach the Hephaestus and her captain as it sat in the center of the Colonial Gunline.

“Is...is that Bach?” A deck officer spoke after hearing the melody play out over the Bridge PA.
“Records say it is, but its....its a version that seems complete, with parts our oldest copies lack.” The Fleet intelligence officer spoke up from her console.
“We’re getting an image feed as well...they look...familiar.” The Gunner’s Mate Chief petty officer spoke as he checked over his freeing solutions.
“Do you think it’s true, that the scattering has ended then?” The helmsmen muttered while gripping his controls tightly.
“Do not bring religious babble on to my ship.” Saith the Captain as he thought for a moment.

“They...Send them a response, unencrypted and over open channels. ”From my personal playlist.”
So apparently Cobalt has named me a Cyber terrorist, I honestly don't know to be Honored or offended.
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Anowa
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Anowa » Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:40 pm

Parcia wrote:-snip-


The only response would come as static, garbled. Whatever lights remained running outside the mysterious craft had vanished completely. It would begin drifting fully at such a point. No engine activity, no signs of power, and the ship became more visible, as if for some reason it was partially transparent before. The only notable factor was that the ship was building up heat at a very fast rate.

About half an hour after last contact, a superheated object was straight up ejected from the vessel's spine, going straight up, it was visible on IR as nearing the temperature of most stars. Then it detonated in a controlled manner, turning into nothing more than motes of dust. A ceramic heat sink the size of some gunships, likely for something akin to a fusion or fission reactor, or even for a stealth system.

Every ten minutes after that, somewhere along the spine another one of those heat sinks would eject for a good hour.

And then, the ship started setting off all sort of sensors, alarms, and concerns. As every running light came back to life, internal lighting could be seen from what could only be the bridge flicked from a dull red to full color, three massive engines churned to life... and the vehicle started emitting gravitational waves on a scale that was most definitely not fitting of a craft that size... or any craft at all.

The vessel, which previously had been slowly listing and dipping nose down, maneuvered back into a righted position, with a speed that, by conventional physics, should've ripped it in half.

It was then communications restarted.

What followed was a song playing lightly in the background as a heavily accented voice spoke in a very much dead language that had persisted just as mankind had done. English.

"This is Captain Theodore Strauss of the Kantr Confederacy Exploratory Vessel, KCSV Magellan. We have eighty seven thousand, one hundred and seventeen souls on board. May I ask the name of they who have us in their sights?"

The last image that was sent was a simple black background with white lettering:

GLORIA HOMINUM!
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The United Remnants of America
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The United Remnants of America » Sat Apr 10, 2021 3:03 pm

Quel'Cygni
Cygni System
Outer Territories
Seran Federation


The star known as Cygni hung low over the horizon, hueing the moon's sky blue-purple, the orange disk of the gas giant Quel'Cygni orbited sitting directly overhead.

Quel'Cygni was a small world, a quiet world, one of only two inhabited planetary bodies in the Outer Territories. It was known alternately as a trade and frontier system, being on the edge of the Federation as it was. It was expected that most interstellar transport would stop in the Cygni system before passing further along into the Federation's territory.

Across the moon were sparsely populated towns and fewer cities. The military here was half that of a world deeper in the Federation, and Cygni only had a stopping force of Navy vessels based in the system. Due to the Seran Warpgate system, there didn't need to be an excessive military presence on the edge of the Federation's territory, as reinforcements could be quickly summoned in case of hostile actions. This fact allowed such a thin allocation of resources to be permanently based on and around Quel'Cygni.

Historically, the moon appeared to have been inhabited by a previous xenos civilization that had either died out or abandoned the moon before Seran colonization, and it wasn't a rare occurrence for science expeditions to come to the surface to study leftover artifacts and relics that were routinely discovered.

Due to the sparse presence of military equipment in the system, a micrometeor storm was written off as a minor interstellar weather anomaly. Naval vessels and space traffic were repositioned to avoid the expected pathways of the storm, and despite the fact that they'd be crossing the orbits of Quel'Cygni and her gas giant, little was done to avoid or mitigate them. Any micrometeors would disintegrate on entry.

This mistake would be written about in military strategy for generations.

Six Hours Later

Flames reflected off of his forest green armor, the remains of one of several small farming towns that had been erased in the attack. His black hair had been grown long in a center line and shaved on the sides, a tattoo was stenciled onto the right side of his scalp, a stenciled 10. His helmet was in the crook of his arm as he watched the emergency response crews put out fires and searched for survivors. This scene was the same across 8 different towns on Quel'Cygni. So far, no survivors had been found. Casualties were currently estimated to be over forty thousand.

Overhead, moving glints in the night sky represented Seran Navy ships moving in for aid, and small vessels, both Navy and private, working on clearing the upper and lower atmosphere of debris from destroyed satellites.

"Sir."

10-Raydrik's eyes glanced away from the burning structures to a man wearing the blue-grey uniform of the Planetary Militia. His shoulder patch identified him as Quel'Cygni Militia, and the reflective silver emergency services vest covered his identification and ranking pips on his breast, but Raydrik recognized him well enough from the last several hours of working together.

"Yes, Legate? Do you bring news?"

"Yes, sir." The officer looked down at a tablet held in his hand, referencing notes and communications reports, "We're still working on putting out fires, cleaning up damage, and finding anyone who survived the attack, but so far, things are looking promising on the former, and poorly on the latter."

"Attack. There's confirmation?"

The legate bit his lip, his eyes flicking towards the flames of the village a hundred meters off, "Well. We've found remains of the micrometeors, sir. Studying them, they do not appear to be natural formations, but manufactured ammunition based on the materials they're composed of. We've got technicians still working on them, but it appears that they are kinetic rounds fired from... Somewhere, sir."

"So we were attacked. Is that correct, Legate?"

"It appears so, sir."

"Thank you. Dismissed. Give the men my thanks. Tell them to continue working. We will have reinforcements to relieve them by morning."

"Yes, sir. Thank you."

The officer turned and trudged back off towards the destroyed village. Raydrik watched him walk off before lifting the helmet up and setting it over his head. A hiss could be heard as the helmet sealed against his suit, and a head-up display appeared on the inside of the helmet's visor.

"Immortal 10 to Cruiser 105, copy."

Above Quel'Cygni, the SNS Conjurer, a Federation Cruiser assigned to the Cygni system and acting as the current leader of relief efforts, responded almost immediately.

"Immortal 10, this is Cruiser 105. Raydrik, how does it look down there?"

"It will be some time before we understand the extent of the damage. Authorize an immediate QEC message to Military Command, highest urgency. Message is as follows: 'I10 confirms attack on QC. Recommend EFJC prepare 1F. Contact I00 for recommendation.' End message. Copy?"

"Understood, sir. Message will be sent immediately."

"I will be coming up shortly, 105. Please advise the rest of the Cygni Flotilla that we will be operating on Imminent Threat status for the foreseeable future."


"Understood, sir. We will advise the flotilla, and quarters will be prepared upon your return."

"Thank you. Immortal 10 signing off."

The interior of Raydrik's helmet went silent. But he could still see the flames of the burning village, and he imagined he could still hear the hissing crackling of the fires. With his helmet on, no one could see the expression of violent rage hidden behind his visor.

Someone would pay for this.
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Sao Nova Europa
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Sao Nova Europa » Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:17 am

Kogyo System



Dojim Kikyobak
Image
Captain of 'Exterminator'

Space was like a dark curtain. Thousands of bright stars and planets dotted that curtain in an intricate pattern. A Destroyer-Class Warship was was traversing this dark sea. It had a bulbous center section, with gun batteries covering the front, sides and stern and a command tower on the dorsal side. Dojim Kikyobak was standing at the bridge, looking at the myriad of stars before him. This was his first assignment as Captain of the 'Exterminator'. At the age of sixteen, he was considered young for the post, even by the standards of the Is'in who lived only fifty years and were considered adults at the age of twelve. His father being Undersecretary of War - the third highest highest office in the Ministry of War - certainly played a role in his appointment.

Dojim had never seen any kind of action in person. Not that there was much action to be seen in the Imperium, as for decades military action had been limited to surgical strikes against pirate strongholds. Still, even if there was some kind of war, Dojim wouldn't have fought in person. The Is'in were scholars and administrators, not warriors. Their appointment to high military offices was because of their study of the art of war - logistics, tactics, grand strategy. The dirty, grueling fighting was done by the Ter'ix, the genetically-engineered lizard race of hardened warriors.

One such Ter'ix was lieutenant Bar'ma Dirfi. The enormous lizard walked to the bridge. Standing before his Captain, he saluted. "Captain," he said in his shrill voice.

Dojim turned around and nodded, giving the lieutenant permission to speak.

"We are about to jump to the Kogyo System," Bar'ma said. The 'Exterminator' had been assigned to investigate a mysterious incident in that system; a number of kinetic projectiles had hit one of the uninhabitable, molten worlds of the system. This wouldn't have been investigated if there wasn't a large mining colony in the asteroid field of the Kogyo System.

"Lieutenant, we may proceed with the jump."

With the Captain's permission, Bar'ma began shouting orders at the bridge crew. The 'Exterminator' approached the megastructure that was the Wormhole Gate. The Gates were used to connect the Imperium's solar systems. This network of Gates took centuries to construct and was considered the crowning achievement of the Imperium, a testament to its power.

Image


The 'Exterminator' reached the edge of the huge Wormhole Gate and dived straight into it. A tremendous shudder went through the whole starship. The crew struggled to remain still, as the ship shook violently. It was like getting sucked down the whirlpool in a draining bathtub. A few moments later, the ship stabilized and the tremors stopped; the 'Exterminator' had successfully made the jump to the Kogyo System.

"Sir! We've reached the Kogyo System," Bar'ma announced to the Captain.

Dojim nodded. "Get us to X-456," he replied.

Image


X-456 was one of the thousands of mining colonies dotting the Imperium. Constructed in asteroid belts, they powered in large part the Imperium's economy. The colonies themselves were bustling with life, as aside from the miners living there, there also lived merchants who made a living by selling products and services to the miners and their families. The mining colonies were special compared to planetary settlements, as they were administered by private corporations. This meant that there was greater liberty compared to the bureaucratic, tight administration of the planets by the Imperial Bureaucrats.

It also meant that the Elmairs, who comprised the bulk of the Imperium's population, had a greater role to play. Whereas all public offices were reserved for the Is'in - excluding the Elmairs from having any say in governance -, private corporations were mainly owned by Elmairs; since public offices were out of their reach, all their efforts went towards distinguishing themselves in the private sector. And since mining colonies were administered by private corporations, those mining colonies were the only places which could be administered by Elmairs.

One such Elmair was Yilin Seinwa, Administrator of X-456. Administrators were responsible to the CEO of their Corporation; in Yilin's case, that was the CEO of X-Corp, one of the largest mining corporations in the Imperium. Of course, the CEOs had to abide by strict government regulations; the Imperium was no corporate paradise. Corporations had to apply certain sets of laws in their colonies, meet certain production quotas and pay - both in cash and in kind - taxes to the Imperial Court. Even so, the mining colonies had more liberty compared to the planetary settlements and Elmairs had the chance there to play some role in governance.
Yilin Seinwa
Image
Administrator of X-456

The 'Exterminator' docked in one of the ports of X-456. Captain Dojim disembarked - followed by four Ter'ix bodyguards wearing their power armor suits and holding tightly onto their laser rifles. Dojim walked though the corridors of the colony. The Elmair miners and merchants were standing in attention upon seeing him, interrupting whatever they were doing at the moment. The Is'in were highly respected; they had been chosen by the Gods to govern the Imperium. It were the Is'in that maintained proper and moral governance. The Elmair were a devout people who revered their Gods, and as such they had to show their respect to the loyal administrators of the Gods.

In less than an hour, Dojim was in the office of Administrator Yilin; the Ter'ix bodyguards were waiting outside. Yilin fell to her knees and bowed deeply before the Captain. Dojim signaled with his hand that she could rise, and so she did.

"Your Excellency," Yilin spoke softly, "how may this loyal servant be of assistance to you?"

"Kinetic projectiles hit the molten surface of Seashi. I've been sent here by the Imperial Court to investigate this attack."

"Your Excellency, our sensors picked no signs of any hostile ships. There has been no hostile movement against us. I've also have to note that it is most strange that the target was an uninhabitable, molten world with no strategic or tactical value. It's as if the attack was random."

"Can we recover any of those projectiles?"

"The molten surface of Seashi would have made short work of any remains that may have shortly dotted its surface."

"Now... this places the whole investigation in a tough spot. I assume that your sensors picked up those projectiles and their trajectory as they entered the solar system?"

Yilin nodded.

"Good. We can use this to make an assumption as of where those projectiles might have originated. I'll also be informing the Imperial Court to construct further defenses in this system."

Dojim softly sighed. This investigation was to be a lot tougher than he initially thought.
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Parcia
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Posts: 7499
Founded: Feb 11, 2016
Democratic Socialists

Postby Parcia » Tue Apr 13, 2021 1:00 pm

Anowa wrote:
Parcia wrote:-snip-


The only response would come as static, garbled. Whatever lights remained running outside the mysterious craft had vanished completely. It would begin drifting fully at such a point. No engine activity, no signs of power, and the ship became more visible, as if for some reason it was partially transparent before. The only notable factor was that the ship was building up heat at a very fast rate.

About half an hour after last contact, a superheated object was straight up ejected from the vessel's spine, going straight up, it was visible on IR as nearing the temperature of most stars. Then it detonated in a controlled manner, turning into nothing more than motes of dust. A ceramic heat sink the size of some gunships, likely for something akin to a fusion or fission reactor, or even for a stealth system.

Every ten minutes after that, somewhere along the spine another one of those heat sinks would eject for a good hour.

And then, the ship started setting off all sort of sensors, alarms, and concerns. As every running light came back to life, internal lighting could be seen from what could only be the bridge flicked from a dull red to full color, three massive engines churned to life... and the vehicle started emitting gravitational waves on a scale that was most definitely not fitting of a craft that size... or any craft at all.

The vessel, which previously had been slowly listing and dipping nose down, maneuvered back into a righted position, with a speed that, by conventional physics, should've ripped it in half.

It was then communications restarted.

What followed was a song playing lightly in the background as a heavily accented voice spoke in a very much dead language that had persisted just as mankind had done. English.

"This is Captain Theodore Strauss of the Kantr Confederacy Exploratory Vessel, KCSV Magellan. We have eighty seven thousand, one hundred and seventeen souls on board. May I ask the name of they who have us in their sights?"

The last image that was sent was a simple black background with white lettering:

GLORIA HOMINUM!


“Gloria Hominum...That’s...Latin?” The Captain of the Hephaestus spoke aloud, remembering the few scant codified sentences of Latin he knew.

Ordering the channel open, he responded. “This is Captain Lorince K. Taggert of the Colonial Naval Warship, CNS Hephaestus, we have aboard three thousand, two hundred and eighty five souls. You currently sit in the Pythos system, the Capital system of the Sovereign Colonies of Aurelia.”


He paused, “May we open a video channel?”
So apparently Cobalt has named me a Cyber terrorist, I honestly don't know to be Honored or offended.
Right leaning Centrist from Florida No I am not The Floridaman...hes my uncle. Other then that dont @ me about politics, im leaving that
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Anowa
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Anowa » Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:37 pm

Parcia wrote:
Anowa wrote:
The only response would come as static, garbled. Whatever lights remained running outside the mysterious craft had vanished completely. It would begin drifting fully at such a point. No engine activity, no signs of power, and the ship became more visible, as if for some reason it was partially transparent before. The only notable factor was that the ship was building up heat at a very fast rate.

About half an hour after last contact, a superheated object was straight up ejected from the vessel's spine, going straight up, it was visible on IR as nearing the temperature of most stars. Then it detonated in a controlled manner, turning into nothing more than motes of dust. A ceramic heat sink the size of some gunships, likely for something akin to a fusion or fission reactor, or even for a stealth system.

Every ten minutes after that, somewhere along the spine another one of those heat sinks would eject for a good hour.

And then, the ship started setting off all sort of sensors, alarms, and concerns. As every running light came back to life, internal lighting could be seen from what could only be the bridge flicked from a dull red to full color, three massive engines churned to life... and the vehicle started emitting gravitational waves on a scale that was most definitely not fitting of a craft that size... or any craft at all.

The vessel, which previously had been slowly listing and dipping nose down, maneuvered back into a righted position, with a speed that, by conventional physics, should've ripped it in half.

It was then communications restarted.

What followed was a song playing lightly in the background as a heavily accented voice spoke in a very much dead language that had persisted just as mankind had done. English.

"This is Captain Theodore Strauss of the Kantr Confederacy Exploratory Vessel, KCSV Magellan. We have eighty seven thousand, one hundred and seventeen souls on board. May I ask the name of they who have us in their sights?"

The last image that was sent was a simple black background with white lettering:

GLORIA HOMINUM!


“Gloria Hominum...That’s...Latin?” The Captain of the Hephaestus spoke aloud, remembering the few scant codified sentences of Latin he knew.

Ordering the channel open, he responded. “This is Captain Lorince K. Taggert of the Colonial Naval Warship, CNS Hephaestus, we have aboard three thousand, two hundred and eighty five souls. You currently sit in the Pythos system, the Capital system of the Sovereign Colonies of Aurelia.”


He paused, “May we open a video channel?”

There was a notable lag in regards to communications, most definitely from the fact that radio waves were still being used rather than any form of FTL communications.

The opposite ship however did respond, "That isn't possible at this time. Our communications systems are likely incompatible. It's quite coincidental that we can properly communicate by radio like this."
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An Intro to Anowa

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Miraaki
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Left-Leaning College State

Postby Miraaki » Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:52 pm

Kasa Tkoth Sphere wrote:-snip-

On the Fringe of United Alliance space

Captain Vasha sipped some coffee as she read the reports coming in from the deep space sensors pointed away from Alliance space. She was sitting in her cabin on the heavy cruiser UAS Hikari, about 45 minutes away from exiting The Other Side back to realspace. Last week Alliance sensors had detected faint subspace echoes consistent with FTL travel rapidly closing in on Alliance territory from the Galactic East, from the Core. While the UA knew about a few other stable interstellar civilizations to the south of them, they had no knowledge of any from the east. A small task force consisting of the Hikari, a light cruiser, and 4 supporting destroyers had been scraped together from the patrol fleets to try and intercept the ship at the estimated point of arrival. Vasha was receiving minute by minute updates from the sensors, relaying the information to her navigator in order to make any course corrections. Hopefully this was just some FTl anomaly, or failing that, first contact with someone peaceful. The UA had yet to experience an outright hostile first contact, but there had been some close calls in its history.

"Captain, this is Navigation, we have favorable winds and Current, so expect arrival in about 15 minutes," crackled the ships intercom system, Vasha's fox ears perking up to the sound. Guess she would finish her coffee later. Heading to the bridge from her cabin, she felt the ship exit the Other Side back into real space, the tearing of reality making her tense up. It always did. The fact that they were heading into what was likely a first contact scenario did not help. This was only her first month as captain and she was already doing something as monumental as first contact.

"Sensors?" asked Vasha, putting herself into a real Officer mode, pushing down her personal worries. She needed to focus. If this did end up going badly, Vasha would be ready. Right after, she heard the telltale crack of a Tear opening up, with the rest of her flotilla exiting the Other Side to take up a proper formation around the Hikari

"Nothing on conventional or magical sensors yet.... wait, I'm getting an FTL signature, approaching fast-" the lieutenant was cut off when a large ship, around 2 kilometers in size, roughly equal to the Hikari herself, suddenly appearing into view, seemingly... assembeling itself from nothing. The sensors on Vasha's screen, along with pretty much every other station on the bridge, immediately lit up, and Vasha sounded general quarters for the whole fleet. In an attempt to avoid any threatening appearance however, no guns or missiles had been pointed at the unknown contact... yet. Pretty much every ship in the fleet was blanketing it in sensors and radar now though, trying to get a sense of what exactly it was. Vasha opened a fleet wide channel and began to speak

"Well, it seems like we have a first contact scenario here, comrades. Continue scanning and tracking the ship, matching our current distance and speed depending on its movements. If it jumps to FTL we will follow it to our borders. All transmissions to and from the ship go through the Hikari and me. For the Alliance." with that last bit, Vasha clicked off the transmitter, and began a broadcast on all frequencies in the area, consisting of an Alliance Standard Codex, along with images of friendly, happy people playing and working together, and music and art pieces made by great Alliance artists. In addition was an attempt to convey at least some form of language, with many common words broadcasted along with images showing what each word corresponded to. To convey intelligence, some mathematical formulas were broadcasted as well. It was all an attempt to give whatever alien race this was an image of a friendly, welcoming state who just wanted to spread peace and prosperity to all corners of the galaxy.

"Welcome to United Alliance space. If you can understand me, please broadcast noise on all frequencies until you here a response from us," said Vasha. It was a longshot, but if this race possessed advanced enough translators, they might be able to piece together at least a broken form of Alliance Standard given the amount of language data they were broadcasting from the Hikari. Failing that, if they could convince an alien to meet face to face, they had translation spells to fall back on. After clicking off the broadcast, Vasha swallowed. She hoped that the Records would speak that this day resolved peacefully
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Parcia
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Postby Parcia » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:31 pm

Anowa wrote:
Parcia wrote:
“Gloria Hominum...That’s...Latin?” The Captain of the Hephaestus spoke aloud, remembering the few scant codified sentences of Latin he knew.

Ordering the channel open, he responded. “This is Captain Lorince K. Taggert of the Colonial Naval Warship, CNS Hephaestus, we have aboard three thousand, two hundred and eighty five souls. You currently sit in the Pythos system, the Capital system of the Sovereign Colonies of Aurelia.”


He paused, “May we open a video channel?”

There was a notable lag in regards to communications, most definitely from the fact that radio waves were still being used rather than any form of FTL communications.

The opposite ship however did respond, "That isn't possible at this time. Our communications systems are likely incompatible. It's quite coincidental that we can properly communicate by radio like this."



A moment of silence among the crew before the Captain spoke up. “Roger that, Magellan, Hephaestus reads your vessel suffering some damage, do you require Damage control or medical teams?”

The fleet had assembled but largely held its place. The Kantir were still being painted by every targeting system in the system, but readings would indicate the charging capacitors of Colonial ballistic weapons and orbiting lances were full, but cycling.

All along the inhabited planets of the Pythos system, Colonial Marines and Militia units were on stand by and the communications traffic was still cut down to just military traffic.
So apparently Cobalt has named me a Cyber terrorist, I honestly don't know to be Honored or offended.
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Parcia
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Parcia » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:39 pm

Arktic wrote:
Parcia wrote:Ellenor Baker.

Light, flashing, lights. The smell of smoke, metallic tinged blood. Then Pain, a shape above her, a numbing feeling and her vision cleared. One of the aliens, the Faeson was over her. Her hearing was in an out and she felt the warm trickle of her own blood along her scalp, staining her flaxen hair a dark, strawberry red.

She groaned and slowly rolled on to her side, then all fours and finally to her feet shakily. The medic was wide eyed and shaking, speaking to her in rapid, chattering gibberish she figured was indeed English or Colonial basic, but her numbed, slow moving mind couldn’t make sense of it.

Leaning on the wall and fiddling with her PDA, she gently waved the four armed alien off and started to shakily make her way down the hall.

[OOC: just assume either everyone knows each other’s languages or that advanced auto-translators/telepathy are being used unless otherwise stated.]

The medic slumped back against the wall. Ellenor could have noticed that one of his under-arms was missing, staining his suit bright orange, the hue of Faeson blood.
"Please be fixed please be fixed pleasebefixedpleasepleas..."
The noise of his murmuring slowed, then faded to incoherence behind his starsuit mask as he began to die.

The hall was mostly empty, being an interior maintenance corridor. On the far end, two Faeson in starsuits were dragging away a battered third from a large green chemical fire that belched black smoke and blocked the end of the hallway. She screamed and cried in pain, her blue skin scorched an ugly bark-like brown-black, leaf-like flames still licking at her clothing. One of them looked at Ellenor, then ran to a nearby cabinet and pulled out a human-designed oxygen apparatus. It was maybe a hundred years old at this point, but it still seemed to work, so it was better than nothing.
"Take! Quickly!"

The other set the burn victim against the wall, where she screamed and sobbed in concert with the blaring alarms. Everywhere in the darkness, orange and red warning lights were blinking, and a continuous strobe illuminated the hallway in a vertigo-inducing nightmare. As the Faeson that handed you the oxygen mask messed with a control panel to turn on a set of emergency floodlights, the other stared at the fire and began to visibly panic. Indeed, Ellenor could feel it: a psychic wave of panicked energy and despair ripped through the ship, throbbing like loud music behind closed doors.
"THE NURSERY!"
The lights came on, illuminating the hallway, and behind Ellenor the Faeson scaled the wall to remove a large firefighting apparatus. An explosion elsewhere on the ship shook everything, causing the Faeson to fall along with the equipment. The extinguisher engine seemed to be fine, but the Faeson who had scaled to get it clearly was not, judging from her loud groaning and the way her two left arms were unnaturally bent. Upon watching this, the male Faeson standing next to Ellenor began to hyperventilate and cry, clearly having what in human terms would be a panic attack.
"The nursery, the nursery..."

The Faeson woman tried to get up and haul the extinguisher closer, but was clearly in extreme pain. Behind them, down the hall, the fire raged. An alarm sounded, the tone and robotic voice audible from behind the roaring fire and wreckage, in the other room.
"ALERT, ALERT: HIGH TEMPERATURE DETECTED NEAR EGG CLUTCH. CORRECT TEMPERATURE IMMEDIATELY."



The situation was...bad.

The medic who helped her was fading, fast, and she didn’t have much to do about it. She stripped off the top of her suit and, finding it impossible to tear, ripped off her long sleeve, red cotton shirt and tore it in to strips, leaving her in her boots, suit bottom, and a sports bra as well as her utility belt.

She bent over and gave him a light slap on the face, seeming to bring back some live to him. “Stay with me, Keebler elf, I’m trying to return the favor!” She took some of the make shift bandages and, wiping the sweat off her mask, stared to stem the bleeding the best she could by wrapping him up as tight as she could.

The situation went from “pan” to “fire” pretty quickly. After triaging the first Faeson, she went in to auto pilot and her few years of militia training kicked in. In a few minuets she had splinted the broken arms of the other faeson the best she could using some bits of bulkhead and more of her rags, but she couldn’t do much for the rest. She simply lacked the needed supplies to do more then to coo softly and try to get them comfortable for the meeting with their god.


Hearing the alarm she went to the engine and looked over it’s controls. It wasnt in Colonial standard and her written Faeson as a lot worse then her spoken, so it took her a moment before she had detached the nozzle and started the pump.

Moving closer, she assessed it the best she could, it wasn’t a Charlie fire, meaning an electrical fire as best as she could tell and took the risk, aiming the nozzle at the base of the fire and spraying it down with retardant. It took a few minuets, and she had to spray down the door to quell secondary fires along the bulkhead, but she put it out.

Then she saw it was jammed. A large piece of bulk head had been bent in and was jamming the mechanism that allowed it to slide open and closed. Scrambling as another temperature alarm sounded, she turned towards the small set of damage. Control tools bolted to the side of the Engine and wretched a pry bar off.

Jamming it in to the lip, she gripped it tight and pulled, trying to deform the bulkhead rim in the other direction and free it.

“If any of you are still alive, I need help!”
So apparently Cobalt has named me a Cyber terrorist, I honestly don't know to be Honored or offended.
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Anowa
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Postby Anowa » Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:19 pm

Parcia wrote:
Anowa wrote:There was a notable lag in regards to communications, most definitely from the fact that radio waves were still being used rather than any form of FTL communications.

The opposite ship however did respond, "That isn't possible at this time. Our communications systems are likely incompatible. It's quite coincidental that we can properly communicate by radio like this."



A moment of silence among the crew before the Captain spoke up. “Roger that, Magellan, Hephaestus reads your vessel suffering some damage, do you require Damage control or medical teams?”

The fleet had assembled but largely held its place. The Kantir were still being painted by every targeting system in the system, but readings would indicate the charging capacitors of Colonial ballistic weapons and orbiting lances were full, but cycling.

All along the inhabited planets of the Pythos system, Colonial Marines and Militia units were on stand by and the communications traffic was still cut down to just military traffic.

In the mean time between transmissions, the bridge of the Magellan had reached a calm level of activity. Should the worst come to pass, the ship would be more than capable of defending itself. All the primary junctions on the ship had been hard pressed into optimal status within the past few hours, and the ship's 2 reactors were primed and ready to start running in to the red to power every offensive and defensive system on the ship.

The KCSV Tamerlane and Boudicca had their bays open and ready to drop into a defensive posture at the drop of a hat. Damage to the FTL drive sustained from the momentary power load meant it would have to go through a very extensive checklist, let the ship get stuck in a place between time and space. It would take two days. The command crew of the various departments and escort cruisers were certain they could last that long. the marhals, with the level of situational awareness, weren't so sure.

At the moment they came back in to real space, Marshal Damian, one of the four present marshals, was sucked clean out into the void. For the good hour and a half he was out there before he found an open airlock, he had observed a notably suspect station that didn't fit the same architectural standard the rest of the craft in system did.

When he got back in side and in to his armor, he had Pioneer run a diagnostic to the best of the AI's ability on the ship. Or rather orbital platform as they found out.

As that process started, the message from the Hephaestus came through.

With that, Marshal took the comms console, her voice was notably less accented, and borderline fluent in English, "This is Marshal Valeriya Rostisiev of the Kantr Confederacy, speaking for our head of state the honorable Grand Marshal. Our ship's damage at this time is superficial and has been repaired to the point where it is no longer a concern. Our only wounded are from vaccuum exposure and electrical burns due to power overload. We were struck by a primordial mass accelerator rounds entering FTL which may have damaged our drive. We will be unable to move at stellar distances for perhaps 5 days, our in system engines and FTL drive are still fully operational. Over."

It was at that point Pioneer started reading off the report of the ODP that Damian had scanned. They weren't sure of it's destructive capacity, but it's revelation that it was possibly capable of ripping through the Magellan's shields and hull made their timetable accelerate a bit.

Valeriya added an addendum to the message at that point, "This is Marshal Valeriya, an orbital defence platform of yours across system is currently powered on and painting us. It is interfering with a number of our systems, including our systems involved in defending against stellar winds and superluminal debris, which in turn effects our ship's reactor venting. We have to move to a... an alternative system in order to avoid the reactors of the Magellan from forming a penrose bomb. Over."

The Marshal gave a nod to communications as they started forming a message. Some time not too long after the message was expected to have reached the Hephaestus, a swift high energy photon pulse suddenly rippled off of a number of spiny outcroppings on the ship directed at dark space. While it would be easy to simply see it as some form of energy venting system, it was in actually the Kantr's form of FTL comms.

The 1st Assault Fleet, and thus the Grand Marshal, were about to be informed of the developments in this very system.
Last edited by Anowa on Thu Apr 22, 2021 2:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Kasa Tkoth Sphere
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Kasa Tkoth Sphere » Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:49 pm

Miraaki wrote:On the Fringe of United Alliance space


Sensor sweeps revealed that this mammoth, bloated vehicle was almost definitely meant for peace; penetrating radar would show it to be largely hollow on the inside, with huge, sweeping passageways and cargo areas, and almost nothing in the way of combat equipment apart from a weak point-defense grid and simple shields. The sail it tugged in behind itself was crackling with gravitational energy until the moment it was stored away and discharged for good.



Aboard the Lost Lightseeker

Most civilized people would have found it utterly mad that an expeditionary vessel did not intentionally carry anyone skilled or trained in first contact procedures. But that was because they didn't look at the situation with a Hicauran mindset — expeditions of this type were so rare that the people ready to do them had almost entirely swapped out, almost all of those people had forgotten any of the contacts they had experienced, and the remainder of those remembered only the exact steps they took, not what they were thinking or what deductions they made in the process. So the captain had to poll his crew and then his passengers for anyone who'd so much as remembered reading a book on the theory of first contact, at the very least, and the person he found was Turao Iu, an uncomfortably young Xaa — not even a thousand! — who spoke with the off-key, practically whispered accent of someone from the east midwing of Hica Minor's supercontinent, and whose only awareness of the subject of alien communications was a series of lectures at home a few hundred years back.

There were a few others already assigned from the ship's complement of people who had experience processing unknown communications, plus the odd mathematician, data scientist, and biologist. She ended up on the Lost Lightseeker's forward segment heedless of all this, was swiftly introduced to the officers gathered around the table behind the bridge and the technicians working on banks of computers to either side of it, and then placed in front of a cluster of monitors with the captain, who uneasily ruffled his reeds, a little bit offended by her presence, before speaking.

"We started getting bursts across all of our instrumentation a few minutes ago, from the direction of a group of nearby spacecraft. Six total, of our own approximate order-of-magnitude size. As of right now, they're raking us with what are either active sensor sweeps or messages of some other kind — it's not quite clear."

"Nobody's said anything to them yet?" Already, Turao was trembling; she regretted the first sentence she spoke, stumbling to find words. "Please, no, I... don't mean to be rude. I just want to know if I have to follow up on previous communications."

"Don't panic," shouted someone working on the radio array, who didn't notice her so much as overhear the conversation. "We haven't sent anything yet. Right now, though... we're all just getting started."

"Well... how best to let them know we've heard?" She glanced over the datastreams coming in on the many monitors; the submillimeter antenna was reporting the largest amplitude. "Can we send back a prime sequence? Maybe over a frequency in the submillimeter range? Ten-to-the-thirty Planck lengths? Is that covered?" A few technicians cocked their heads — most figured primes were a little too obvious. "...You never know, they might have ten fingers."

The Lost Lightseeker's first response, ultimately, was a series of pulses of increasing length over the 18.549 THz band. Timing their durations revealed a prime-number pattern: two units of time, then three, five... and so on up to thirty-one.



Time slipped by, and progress came only in small bursts. The discovery of the message's binary encoding was cut short by the group's collective understanding that they had no idea how their welcome party's civilization even organized data at all. Did the bits come in clusters, perhaps eight or nine or twelve for each piece of discrete information? Were there symmetries or parities that had to be exploited? Was the whole file striped, or meant to be read out in a grid? For every option to test, someone in the room had to sit down and write the code to try it. Fifteen minutes in, about the only other achievement was recognizing that there were probably several unique forms of information in the transmission, or at least it seemed that way, judging by the fact that certain patterns repeated for different lengths.

"Right. How do you go about telling an alien civilization that we need more time to think?" The captain looked down at Turao; he was working with someone on the upper level and called out, maybe a little mockingly, over to her position.

"Well... the ship-wide sweep continues. If they still want to know who we are that way, maybe we can just say we're thinking. Try... try powering up the reactor and bringing the computers to full load. Then... power down point defense, so we don't look threatening. I don't really know what we put the CPU cycles into — maybe primality tests — just... enough to create an energy signature. Maybe they'll see we're busy?"

"Or that we're powering up a weapon?" The captain grumbled. "Young one, you're optimistic."

It took Turao just a moment to respond. "...Then turn the shields off too. If they start getting angry... well, we should probably try to look as harmless as we can. It's not as if we could escape if they started shooting regardless, no?" Some of the crew members awkwardly looked around and made noncommittal gestures.

And so those watching noticed the huge passenger ship seemingly retract its whole energy network into its belly, heating up core processors and internal systems without so much as putting a joule into its offensive or defensive arrays.



The crew of the Lost Lightseeker had started a proper routine now. Around the central meeting table, Turao and a hastily-assembling support team sifted through readouts from the displays, formulating plans and assigning the crew to test them one after another. And whenever someone made a breakthrough, they'd send an alert through one of the displays, or maybe just...

"Excuse me?" called out a Xaa on the upper level, waving his hand frantically. "Here's something."

"Your presence makes everyone else less intelligent as well. You should feel proud," the captain joked to Turao before responding. "Yes, yes, take a screen and explain."

On the upper right of the room's central display, a list of bit sequences shaped itself into a waveform — scattered in some places, as one would expect by taking random values, but coherent and oscillating in others. "I tried an offset of seventy-two and grouped the bits until I got something that looked interesting. If you play it out naively as an audio sequence at... well, I tried fifty thousand..."

The roomful of typing programmers and arguing technicians became silent when something new began to drift through the air: the sound of instruments. Wind and drums and voices in unison at first, and then a new set of sounds coming in to replace them when they faded out. For a few minutes, the tracks kept changing, playing one alien melody and then another, in tones and harmonies unheard to the whole crew. The overeager crew member jumped to a different part of the message, revealing a grainy, distorted bit of audio nonetheless recognizable as speech, and then another.

Turao was lost in thought for a short while. "...so this is a greeting, is it not? Surely, if we were being warned, it would be obvious."

She got a strange look. "New question: how do you respond when an alien civilization greets you with music? Or is this music at all? Maybe it's some kind of war signal."

"Look at the patches of static. It can't possibly all be sound; there must be more data in here. Maybe they mean for us to learn about them? In which case... we should let them know we recognize... music. Or... the kind of sound that is."

"...sounds like one of the kids' new trends," grumbled a Tok Akove in the back of the room. "Lots and lots of noise, all together. I don't know how you people listen to it. Maybe we should send over some pop, too."

Turao shrugged. "That's not a terrible idea. Maybe they can recognize it as... the same kind of sound, or... made for the same reason."

"We should express that we want to meet," added the captain. "Could get our computers to bear on them, see if we can extract anything more useful than a waveform."

It took Turao a few more minutes sitting motionless before she spoke again.

"Oh. I have an idea."

And so, seventy minutes after the first signals reached their antennae, the Hicaurans sent their response. First, a short snippet of the audio from the incoming message, just a few stanzas of one of the aliens' symphonies played back to them. Then there was a moment's pause, before an all-new waveform came shooting down the microwave lines: a chorus of voices echoing across a silent, wide-open space, backed by the occasional distant bell. Behind it all was a constant low-level throbbing noise like a person playing a deep, warbling wind instrument... until it changed tone and sounded out a word in some language, revealing itself as a bizarrely deep and powerful voice. The choir and the deep voice dropped out, letting one person continue the song with the bells for much of the audio, until it faded out after a final choral segment.

After another pause, two more sounds played: a brief clip of two sets of footsteps (one mechanical, one soft and almost liquid), followed by a few seconds of crowd noises — there were too many conversations to identify any, but the lively noise and the sounds of moving vehicles perhaps indicated a marketplace or gathering area.
Last edited by Kasa Tkoth Sphere on Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Parcia
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Parcia » Sat Apr 24, 2021 12:52 pm

Anowa wrote:
Parcia wrote:

A moment of silence among the crew before the Captain spoke up. “Roger that, Magellan, Hephaestus reads your vessel suffering some damage, do you require Damage control or medical teams?”

The fleet had assembled but largely held its place. The Kantir were still being painted by every targeting system in the system, but readings would indicate the charging capacitors of Colonial ballistic weapons and orbiting lances were full, but cycling.

All along the inhabited planets of the Pythos system, Colonial Marines and Militia units were on stand by and the communications traffic was still cut down to just military traffic.

In the mean time between transmissions, the bridge of the Magellan had reached a calm level of activity. Should the worst come to pass, the ship would be more than capable of defending itself. All the primary junctions on the ship had been hard pressed into optimal status within the past few hours, and the ship's 2 reactors were primed and ready to start running in to the red to power every offensive and defensive system on the ship.

The KCSV Tamerlane and Boudicca had their bays open and ready to drop into a defensive posture at the drop of a hat. Damage to the FTL drive sustained from the momentary power load meant it would have to go through a very extensive checklist, let the ship get stuck in a place between time and space. It would take two days. The command crew of the various departments and escort cruisers were certain they could last that long. the marhals, with the level of situational awareness, weren't so sure.

At the moment they came back in to real space, Marshal Damian, one of the four present marshals, was sucked clean out into the void. For the good hour and a half he was out there before he found an open airlock, he had observed a notably suspect station that didn't fit the same architectural standard the rest of the craft in system did.

When he got back in side and in to his armor, he had Pioneer run a diagnostic to the best of the AI's ability on the ship. Or rather orbital platform as they found out.

As that process started, the message from the Hephaestus came through.

With that, Marshal took the comms console, her voice was notably less accented, and borderline fluent in English, "This is Marshal Valeriya Rostisiev of the Kantr Confederacy, speaking for our head of state the honorable Grand Marshal. Our ship's damage at this time is superficial and has been repaired to the point where it is no longer a concern. Our only wounded are from vaccuum exposure and electrical burns due to power overload. We were struck by a primordial mass accelerator rounds entering FTL which may have damaged our drive. We will be unable to move at stellar distances for perhaps 5 days, our in system engines and FTL drive are still fully operational. Over."

It was at that point Pioneer started reading off the report of the ODP that Damian had scanned. They weren't sure of it's destructive capacity, but it's revelation that it was possibly capable of ripping through the Magellan's shields and hull made their timetable accelerate a bit.

Valeriya added an addendum to the message at that point, "This is Marshal Valeriya, an orbital defence platform of yours across system is currently powered on and painting us. It is interfering with a number of our systems, including our systems involved in defending against stellar winds and superluminal debris, which in turn effects our ship's reactor venting. We have to move to a... an alternative system in order to avoid the reactors of the Magellan from forming a penrose bomb. Over."

The Marshal gave a nod to communications as they started forming a message. Some time not too long after the message was expected to have reached the Hephaestus, a swift high energy photon pulse suddenly rippled off of a number of spiny outcroppings on the ship directed at dark space. While it would be easy to simply see it as some form of energy venting system, it was in actually the Kantr's form of FTL comms.

The 1st Assault Fleet, and thus the Grand Marshal, were about to be informed of the developments in this very system.



A moment of silence, before the Captain of the Hephaestus returned. “Roger that, I put the call out now. The Station in question is a long range imagining telescope and sensor station gifted to us by an allied nation. It’l be moving shortly.” With that, low range sensors would show the Station slowly orienting it self behind Pelo Major, one of Aurelia’s two moons. It was a lie, they both knew it, but the actual capabilities of that station were known to few, and he couldn’t risk acknowledging it to those aboard his ship not in the know.

Another break in radio silence came not from the Colonial fleet, nor from the Now silent ice world of Ball.

It was a old VHF transmission from a Radio station over Aurelia, one that announced the starting of the Yule season and the month of Celebrations.

“Marshal Valeryia, I just received a message from Command, they are sending an envoy over in a Jump ship. Would you be open to some form of Diplomatic talks?”
So apparently Cobalt has named me a Cyber terrorist, I honestly don't know to be Honored or offended.
Right leaning Centrist from Florida No I am not The Floridaman...hes my uncle. Other then that dont @ me about politics, im leaving that
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The United Remnants of America
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New Horizons

Postby The United Remnants of America » Sun Apr 25, 2021 5:17 pm

Gallogen Warp Gate
Gallogen System
Theran Sector
Core Worlds
Seran Federation


Lieutenant Travis Yune checked his work station for the third time, blinking in surprise as the realization of what he was seeing began to sink in.

Yune was a signals technician. He'd joined the Navy as a tech on board Laredo Station also in Gallogen, but had worked his way up and over as a sensor tech on the system's Warp Gate. Posting on a Warp Gate was a vacation assignment. It meant you monitored traffic through the Gate network, made sure your Gate stayed running, and passed on communiques between the Gates as well as organized communications traffic through the network. Altogether, it was a nicer assignment than being stuck in some flying coffin of a corvette, or having to deal with the constant duties of a station crew. Nothing interesting ever happened on a Gate. And that was how Lieutenant Yune liked it.

But this was definitely interesting.

Yune's job was simple. His console showed the status of the Gallogen Warp Gate, as well as its connection to the other twenty-six gates in the network the Seran Federation used. There were twenty-seven gates total, and as long the Gallogen Gate read all systems green, and the gate was connected successfully to twenty-six other sources, each identified by name, all was well. Occasionally, a cruiser would connect its cynosural gate drive to the network to test and, and it would appear on the network by its cruiser designation. Gates almost never needed shut down for maintenance, so Yune's job was one of the easiest in the Navy, staring at a screen that didn't change.

But a new signal had appeared on the network. The system read the signal as "Unidentified." Yune had run the signal location twice now, trying to determine where it was in space. Had some civilian gotten their hands on a cynosure drive? Had some alien connected to the network?

Twice, the location had come out to be on some unidentified system on the edge of Seran space, within range of the network, but definitely not a system the Federation frequented, or had even explored. The signature of the signal looked exactly like a Seran Gate.

Almost all of the Warp Gates currently in service to the Seran Federation were created long before the Federation was founded. They were a network created by their human ancestors during the colonization of this region of space. When their ancestors had collapsed, and the colonies were cut off, it was the people of Seran Prime that had regained spaceflight, reconnected with their sister colony of Gladius in the Thassa System, and had rediscovered the Thassa Warp Gate on the edge of their star system. The technology was familiar and had been reactivated, and that had begun the reunion of the scattered human worlds of the local region as their warp gates responded to the signal and opened, allowing the people of the Thassa System to find their lost brethren scattered amongst the stars. That reunion had been the first step on the foundation of the Seran Federation.

But that process had been roughly two centuries ago. In that time, there hadn't been a new discovery of a Warp Gate, and only two further Warp Gates had been built from reverse-engineered technology from the existing Warp Gates.

The implications of what Yune was seeing on his console were clear. By all accounts, it looked as if a new Warp Gate had been activated, after two centuries. But why?

Yune blinked again and looked up, looking around the small room that contained the small staff of the Gate's operations center.

"Major Kent? Sir, you need to get over here, you need to see this. Now."




Garvenu System
Artharian Sector
Core Worlds
Seran Federation


Three Days Later

The signal had been studied, re-studied, and examined endlessly by every expert, specialist, and analyst in the Federation. The signal was constant and stable, and looked exactly like a Warp Gate as the Serans knew them. Within hours after the discovery of the new Warp Gate signal, the news had spread via quantum entangled comms and laser comms to every planet, ship, and station in the Federation, trickling down from military command to civilian channels.

Two days after the discovery, a single fast attack craft from the Seran Expeditionary Fleet had been selected to enter a Gate with the purpose of going to the new signal, to test the capacity of the gate.

A collective sigh of relief was let out across the Federation as fifteen minutes of silence was broken with the return of the fast attack craft's two-man crew. They had survived and reported all was well. The endpoint was ostensibly a Warp Gate exactly like those the Federation utilized, leading to an as-of-yet unexplored system. That implied another lost colony of Humanity, as their ancestors seemed to have built the Warp Gates to connect Humanity's populations.

Two hours after the return of the fast attack craft, Seran Navy Corvette 244A of the 1st Expeditionary Fleet had been sent to give an initial exploratory report of the system.

The report was promising. A single star orbited by four planets with several moons and planetoids among them. One gas giant as well as two seemingly barren rocky worlds. But in between the barren lifeless rocks appeared to be a blue-green marble of a world, almost a copy of many of the lush planets the Seran Federation called home. Curiously, though, Corvette 244A reported no signs of intra-system travel. No stations, no starships, and no telltale communications or exhaust signals of a presence within the system. Likewise, the potentially habitable world appeared to emanate no communications signals, and showed no signs of habitation, human or otherwise.

These initial reports from Corvette 244A caused a discussion among the upper echelons of the Seran military and government. Was this world never colonized? Had it been abandoned? Was the founding human settlement lost? And more importantly, if the residents of the system had not jump-started their Warp Gate? What had?

It was determined further investigation was required to fully explore and understand the lost history of the system. The system was assigned a temporary name: Varden. The potentially habitable world was named Korvus. Whether these would become the permanent names was a discussion for a later time.

A portion of the First Expeditionary Fleet was gathered for the exploratory fleet. Three cruisers, two destroyers, five frigates, ten corvettes, and a tender, or roughly half the First Fleet. In addition, the Marines were sending a portion of their expeditionary forces for potential landings on the planets of the Varden System. The Marines had decided to send along ten Light Assault Ships loaded lightly with only four regiments of troops between them, making room for surveying, science, and exploratory away teams and their equipment. This was deemed a sufficient force of military strength in case hostile forces were discovered in the system. Immortals 17-Ephraim and 44-Titania were assigned command authority of the exploratory forces for the duration of the operation.

By the third day after the discovery of the Varden System's Warp Gate, Exploratory Flotilla Varden, as it had been coined, had been gathered in the Garvenu System, the twenty-two Navy and Marine vessels maneuvering to cross the event horizon of the Garvenu Warp Gate to the Varden Warp Gate.

The last recorded laser transmission between Cruiser SNS-181 Rivalry to Warp Gate Garvenu before crossing the event horizon was as follows:

"Garvenu Gate to Rivalry. Good luck."

"Rivalry to Garvenu Gate. May our souls return safe and successful."
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Anowa
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 17005
Founded: Jul 29, 2014
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Anowa » Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:56 pm

Parcia wrote:
A moment of silence, before the Captain of the Hephaestus returned. “Roger that, I put the call out now. The Station in question is a long range imagining telescope and sensor station gifted to us by an allied nation. It’l be moving shortly.” With that, low range sensors would show the Station slowly orienting it self behind Pelo Major, one of Aurelia’s two moons. It was a lie, they both knew it, but the actual capabilities of that station were known to few, and he couldn’t risk acknowledging it to those aboard his ship not in the know.

Another break in radio silence came not from the Colonial fleet, nor from the Now silent ice world of Ball.

It was a old VHF transmission from a Radio station over Aurelia, one that announced the starting of the Yule season and the month of Celebrations.

“Marshal Valeryia, I just received a message from Command, they are sending an envoy over in a Jump ship. Would you be open to some form of Diplomatic talks?”


Half the bridge tensed needlessly at word that a ship was suddenly going to show up in proximity. Furthermore, Pioneer once again started an analysis of the platform that had now moved behind the planet to see if his calculations were wrong.

The Marshal simply sighed and turned to the captain, "You're more familiar with the Galleon class than I, Captain. I don't suppose there's a designated room for diplomatic events?"

The captain gave a pause as he spoke to some of the engineering team, "Right, make sure hangar 14 has clearance for at least a corvette, we don't know what the lower size limit of their craft are."

Pioneer chose then to speak up, "They are lying." Everyone who wasn't doing something vital, stopped and turned to the AI's pedestal, and the Pilgrim shaped avatar that stood on it. Marshal Valeryia uncrossed her arms, and Damian tore his eyes off of his smartphone for a moment, the sound of a losing result in Tetris echoing across the now silent bridge.

Pioneer continued, "About the station, not their intent." the AI's avatar was replaced by a slightly fuzzy image of the station in question, "This platform up until it started moving was painting us with a pre-ionized trail of stellar hydrogen. It was also emitting a gravitational anomaly similar to our singularity reactors. While there is plausibility that it is a sensor station on top of this, it being an imaging station is blatantly false. There is no other equipment on board that would give it an edge in that category that we haven't already detected in system, and if it's mechanisms were to be used as imaging, it would be a vastly inferior quality than even the ancient Hubble telescope."

Valeryia hummed, "How destructive?"

"After a recalculation and a narrowing of potential methods of action. I can make an educated guess that it's a penrose bomb gun. After leaving the pre-ionized trail, it would move through almost all matter until it detonates, acting as an an armor piercing projectile without a functioning counter. It can likely take out any ship in the Hegemon fleet outside of the Patriarch of Creation."

"Then we'll call their bluff if need be."

A moment later she began broadcasting the next message, "Your jump ship will be guided to one of our hangars. We iterate that all personnel coming aboard do so in sealed environment suits, something we will stick to as well. We don't need a recurrence of coronaviruses or flus between our populations after centuries apart."

Valeryia strode to the door with Damian in tow, "Captain, I'll leave the rest to you. Ensure we have representatives from the Aelid and Hekaton staff as well."

After stepping through the door, Valeryia spoke to the rest of her kin aboard through their supernatural mental connection, "Get suited and ceremonial. We'll be having guests."



The hangar was now almost wholly barren. Nothing more than empty space, an ad hoc negotiating table two siuzes too large for the occasion, and a number of seats, all made of actual wood cloth and cushion.

Some distance back from the table were the Marshals, their black, argent, and gold armor adorned with a white cape along the right side, with the insignia of the Kantr Marshals. Outside of this, they stood as statues, while the three in the rear, Damian, Dominique, and Kyle had their carbines at a low ready, drum mags feeding almost inch wide shells that would detonate a normal human's arm under full auto. Valeryia had hers adhered to her right thigh plate, obscured by the cape along with her whole arm on that side.

Outside of the Marshals, there was the Captain, a Hekaton xenoarchaeologist, Wudus of Shortfoot, and an Aelid xenobiologist, Nala-Rad ur Shanran.

Wudus was on the youinger side of things notably, a complete lack of wrinkles was offset by a thick beard that obscured most of his features. The Hekaton were once chimps, but an uplifting by the Aelids resulted in a remarkably human appearance outside of their noses, which had remained mostly the same in size and shape, an orcish and apelike appearance. His skin was almost black and his hair was as well, eyes were a deep brown.

Nala-Rad, had birthed children, making her an elder by societal norms, if not by age alone. One of the eldest present, she was still full of a hope and brightness for her work and it's implications. It would be seen by a few as a bad idea to have someone so eager be present for first contact, but she was the only Aelid on board. Vibrant blue eyes were framed by a similar tone of blue across her whole face, except for under her jaw and front of her neck, which was a burnt orange. A duo of horns lined the top of her head as the distinct glow of bioluminescent tissue emanated from the corners of her mouth and mandibles in what seemed to be an Aelid smile.

All were waiting for the vessel to land and it's occupants to depart.
Awards:
Tie Winner: Most Involved in P2TM, 2016
Winner: Best Crime RP, 2016

An Intro to Anowa

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Parcia
Negotiator
 
Posts: 7499
Founded: Feb 11, 2016
Democratic Socialists

Postby Parcia » Sun Apr 25, 2021 7:47 pm

The ship it self rose from the atmosphere of Illyria before quickly jumping in to FTL, combing out among the many gathered warships of the fleet. A short docking sequence was made with a Colonial supply ship as the needed EVA suits were transferred, as well as some added personal.

The Sleek, silver, winged form of the Danube jump ship broke off from the fleet and made for the Kantir vessel with alarming speed for its size, it’s plasma drives leaving a faint blue trail of ionized radiation in their wake.

A pair of Apollo fighters broke off and took up each flank, their sleek space frames keeping pace with the graceful craft as she cut through the void.

Soon enough, the three Colonial Vessels entered the hanger and came to a gentle stop, setting down on the cleaned deck plating with a quiet thump.

The Apollo pilots would stay in their birds, their suits were sealed, but they were ordered to cut engines and watch, though not power down entirely. he Danube it self fully powered down and settled before its ramp would open and extend downward, its silver plating reflecting the its surrounding to a distorted, mirror sheen.

The first to step out was not the diplomat, rather two armored, hulking forms of Colonial shock troopers, their distinctive armored helmet visors down, gauss rifles lowered. 12 of them would disembark and form a guard, half dozen on each side, before the diplomatic team would disembark, clad in a set of polished white and silver EVA suits.

They were tense, obviously, and most seemed awkward and timid in the suits, all but one. The lead Diplomat stored forward with a practiced grace and elegance that betrayed a seasoned diplomat, despite the youthful face that appeared through his visor.

The table was...awkwardly too large, but they took seats none the less, the Shock Troopers forming a dozen long line behind them, weapons lowered. Per Colonial Custom the lead diplomat actually you remained standing behind his chair while his compatriots taking their seats to either side of him, some electing to stand behind him.

There were Humans among their opposites, but there were also those with obvious Xenos or modified origin that defied Colonial records, and while the lead remained quiet the aids and assistants spoke among them selves in an internal communications band, an encrypted one.

Taking a moment, he held his hands up, palms open. “Greetings to you and yours, I am Senator Allen Haythem, Senator of Illyria and and head Officer of the Colonial Diplomatic Commission. I come bringing with me the best wishes and intentions, and the good will of the Sovereign Colonies of Aurelia...I also extend to you the added good tidings and well wishes of the Yule tide season.”

He awaited their answer, custom dictating he do so before sitting down.
Last edited by Parcia on Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
So apparently Cobalt has named me a Cyber terrorist, I honestly don't know to be Honored or offended.
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Anowa
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 17005
Founded: Jul 29, 2014
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Anowa » Sun Apr 25, 2021 9:48 pm

Parcia wrote:
There were Humans among their opposites, but there were also those with obvious Xenos or modified origin that defied Colonial records, and while the lead remained quiet the aids and assistants spoke among them selves in an internal communications band, an encrypted one.

Taking a moment, he held his hands up, palms open. “Greetings to you and yours, I am Senator Allen Haythem, Senator of Illyria and and head Officer of the Colonial Diplomatic Commission. I come bringing with me the best wishes and intentions, and the good will of the Sovereign Colonies of Aurelia...I also extend to you the added good tidings and well wishes of the Yule tide season.”

He awaited their answer, custom dictating he do so before sitting down.


Through their psychic link, Valeryia could hear a small exchange between Damian and Kyle, "Great, Yule. More fundies."

"We celebrate Christmas too, dumbass."

"Yeah but we aren't so ass backwards to call it 'Yule'."

As the duo had a mental conversation, Valeryia blocked it out, responding to the Senator, "Hail, Senator. I am Marshal Valeryia Rostisiev, standing her in place of the Kantr Confederacy's head of state the honourable Grand Marshal. Respresenting the Aelid and Hekaton people are Doctors Nala-Rad ur Shanran and Wudus of Shortfoot respectively. And the commanding officer of this vessel, Captain Theodore Strauss."

As the marshal gestured at those around her it became blatantly clear that the Marshal was more than a simple woman in armor, if the fact she was on the taller side of eight feet wasn't enough of an indication. Her motions were like comparing the normal 30 frames a second to something in the high hundreds. It was unnaturally smooth, and preternaturally stable, as if someone revealed that slow motion film was playing back at real time. It was a known issue in Kantr space, those who weren't used to seeing a Marshal move were struck with nausea and disorientation. However the Marshal either forgot or simply didn't care to warn the others, "It's an honor to have you aboard, and a greater honor to unite mankind after so long apart."

With the faceplates of those on the Kantr side of the table no longer reflecting the light from outside as the retaining barrier dimmed, the faces could be seen of their representatives. Including the ash grey complexion and white glowing irises of captain, something deviant to a sure degree from the standard human.
Awards:
Tie Winner: Most Involved in P2TM, 2016
Winner: Best Crime RP, 2016

An Intro to Anowa

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Duiguo
Political Columnist
 
Posts: 4
Founded: Mar 25, 2020
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Duiguo » Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:19 am

Looking Towards A Doomed Future
ZGF VK-L78
In orbit over Natserioyev
Kinzhezy System
Tsentcon Sector
Zhamozh State

Lumbering over Natserioyev, the 'Planet of National Heroes'

Luxury. Comfort. Leisure.

Such concepts of indulgence and pleasure are little understood by the millions who reside in Zhamozh Space. Why indulge in basic pleasures when there are wars to be fought and your very existence to be protected?

That was the sentiment of all Zhamozh. Whether they be a young child flourishing into an adult or a withering old man scarred by war. The sentiment was the same: luxury breeds complacency; complacency breeds weakness. In the cold confines of space, where creatures lurk and dangerous peoples roam seeking bounty and conquest, the very luxury of having luxuries has disappeared for the Zhamozh. Space, much like the old world of Earth, is dangerous and will rip you apart the moment you let your guard down.

In Space there is no time for hesitance or complacency, you think for a mere second and then act, that is the way, at least, the Zhamozh way. Menial concerns such as Humanity are a thing of the past when your existence is at stake. Morality is merely a speedbump towards national prosperity. War is a necessary action that must be committed if your people are to attain the resources necessary to prolong your existence. To the Zhamozh, those who cant assure their existence and are defeated had no claim to existence in the first place. What honor is there in fighting a cause if you're doomed to be defeated and cease to exist? There is only honor in a cause when it perseveres and continues to live.

That right there is the ideology of the Zhamozh, the so-called "Existence Clause" flaunted by the Nozhya, the Knife Brothers, those that compose the Dicemviri that have led the Zhamozh for centuries. That is the ideology for which drives the Zhamozh in their grinding war of attrition in the Marathon Gulf. The ideology which drives men to march in legions of thousands to a system trillions of miles away to die on a foreign world, never knowing things like compassion, mercy, or the internal feelings of love. Emotion, like morality, is yet another speedbump towards prosperity, so why bother allowing for it to remain? That was the thought process of the Nozhya, who have toiled for centuries to reduce the concept of emotion to the bare essentials, gradually guiding the Zhamozh towards a path of ruthless pragmatism.

But alas, that is merely what the mind of a Zhamozh is like. One of cold pragmatism lacking in sympathy or understanding. That is the mind of Avenir Nikolaev, a Front-Warrant Officer of the Zhamozh State Army and devout believer of the Existence Clause. To Avenir, the ability to indulge and enjoy pleasure was why he believed the Colonials be weak and inferior, complacent and incapable. Even as the war undeniably remains a stalemate, he finds that only a result of there being no Hypergate. Once the gate is finished, the weak and complacent colonials would be dispatched of. Even as he peered out of the crystalline windows of the Battleship ZGF VK-L78, he did not appreciate the beauty of the nearby Star of Kinzhezy as any normal individual would, rather, he imagined how such a furious astronomical body could be weaponized or harnessed. The mind of Avenir was arguably inhuman much like every other Zhamozh, a mind harnessed for war yes, but not a mind harnessed for embracing Humanity. Rather than look to beauty and smile upon it, he ignores beauty, throwing it to the side and welcoming with open ideas the concepts of weaponizing an entire Sun.

The dull grey doors leading into the bridge of the VK-L78 reared open to reveal the Captain of the vessel Urusov Fyodorovich and his accompanying staff officers, intending not to waste a moment they all file into the bridge to their positions, the captain, on the other hand, approaches Avenir.

"The Nozhya chose to assign a Front-rate Officer to the Operation?" Inquired the Captain, a man in his late fifties and visibly scarred from his time during the Southern Knife Reach Campaign.

"The Nozhya thought it wise that an Officer with commendation led the Operation, Captain. My value on the front would be limited in comparison to this, I am content with their decision." Replied Avenir, still staring out to the Star of Kinzhezy as a trio of cruisers coasted by.

"It is a high honor to be sent on a Podokon-type Operation I must admit, but enough with this small talk, let us proceed to the briefing room." The Captain stated in response, breaking off to a lower level of the bridge where a long table adorned with holographic projections stood, surrounded by more than two dozen men.

Podokon. A Zhamozh word most known by those who served in the Army. In rough translations it meant a "Ride to Doom" but the Nozhya had gradually reshaped history and linguistics for the slang word to mean "Ride to the End." In the context of Avenir, this was a one-way trip.

The arrival of the Captain and the trailing Avenir drove the waiting men to attention, their fists slamming their chests in the standard Zhamozh salute. The fist over the chest is meant to represent strength over emotion, the fist being strength, and its position over the heart itself representing its importance over emotion and or lust.

"Prepare for a briefing on Operation Case PDK-001" Stated Avenir, revealing a datapad from his pocket. The flick of a finger brought the data displayed on his tablet to the holographic table, now displaying a location by now familiar to the men who had been briefed on their area of operations several times now: a ship and its schematics, displaying every hall, every room, everything.

The mission was an honor in every respect. A Podokon-type Operation meant there was clear military importance to it, strategic importance, one that was either symbolic or held genuine weight in the war. Ultimately, such matters were no concern of the rank-and-file but rather to the Officers who led the legions of men that marched to war. The mission itself was simple, it was one of assassination and sowing confusion. Those that formed the Podokon Platoon would have several targets, the foremost of them being diplomats and military officers. A certain point of contention however was the nationality of the diplomats and officers, both of which hailed not only from the Colonies but also a people understood little that chose to parlay with them, regardless of their intentions they would get a bullet as well.

Nevertheless, the complexities of such an operation were once again of no concern to the Podokon Platoon, their duty was instigation and extermination. They would be inserted into the system via the VK-L78 which would be accompanied by a squadron of other vessels and execute a boarding action. Everything revolved around possessing the essence of surprise, a key attribute for which is needed in an operation like this. The matter of exfiltration was never addressed given it is a Podokon operation. They are to achieve their objectives and hold position, leaving no trail to follow back to Zhamozh. Their gear would be unmarked and cleaned of any origin point. The only thing able to link them to Zhamozh would be the fact that they would be speaking Zhamozh. The VK-L78 itself and its accompanying vessels would be made devoid of any markings and would keep to a distance, instead choosing to tear away at any present enemy vessels from a distance.

The briefing was blunt and concise, all men understood their roles and what they would be doing. With a successful briefing, the men went back to attention, saluted, and broke away to retrieve their gear and weaponry. In the next thirty-six hours, history would be made and numerous would be dead, including themselves.
Last edited by Duiguo on Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

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